Journalist for local Patch advocates use of social media


Nick DiMarco works the night shift during Hurricane Irene from his apartment in Lutherville, Md. Patch editors were on-call for breaking news throughout Baltimore County during the harrowing storm. (Photo by: Jennifer Tanko)

Towson alumni and journalist Nick DiMarco adapts to the continually evolving world of journalism by optimizing his use of social networking sites.

“You can have all the skills in the world, but you have to be ahead of the curve,” he said. “The game has changed. You have to move forward with your audience.”

Previously a news editor for Towson University’s newspaper The Towerlight, DiMarco is currently reporting for the Lutherville-Timonium Patch and the Hunt Valley-Cockeysville Patch. These online websites are hyper-local, focusing on news stories that are community-based.

DiMarco said that using search engine optimization when posting articles online increases the amount of website hits the article will get. He said that the art to tagging is to use key words readers might type into search engines that day. And sometimes he tricks the system by catering to people who may spell words wrong when searching.

According to DiMarco, adding videos to posts automatically increases the number of views the post will get.

“You lure the reader in with a video and then tell them what the news is in print, keeping their eyeballs on the page,” he said.

Once he posts an article, he links it to his other social media sites. DiMarco makes use of his iPhone when reporting on the road and said that using social media makes for a more trusted news source.

“Social media is always changing,” he said. “You have to keep up with the latest thing.”

DiMarco remains active on sites like Twitter and Instagram.

“Upload pictures, reach out to people, converse,” he said. “Try to drag people back to your site.”

He advises aspiring journalists to “start blogging about things now. Nothing’s stopping you. Learn skills across the board – it doesn’t take much to be a good photographer. The skills you learn [at Towson] can be applied to almost every job.”


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